What are “Zoomies”?
The word ”zoomies” had never entered my vocabulary until I got a galgo. I had seen it online on various Instagram posts but no book I read about greyhounds had ever mentioned this regular, but strange, occurrence.
Because every night, at coming up to about half past 7 or 8 o’clock, our dog would begin to behave a bit strangely. He would start to get excited. I could tell this because his tail would begin to curl directly upwards, like a little antenna that hat suddenly shot up. Secondly, he would get this mischievous look in this eye. He would begin to play with ‘Foxy’ his favourite unstuffed toy and start flipping it up in the air, tossing it around, pouncing on it and jumping on the sofa with it. And that would lead to such excitement that the “zoomies” would begin. The “zoomies” being akin to a mini whirlwind!
Initially Noodle’s zoomies involved leaping off the couch, torpedo-ing through the front door into the front terrace as far as the fence, turning round and whizzing at 100mph through the house, launching himself onto the sofa where he would spin around, freeze with a wild look in his wild eyes and launch himself off again straight to the front door. This circuit would continue repeatedly until he literally exhausted himself and had to stop for water or collapsed on the couch, panting for breath and unable to carry on.
Can you stop a “zoomie”?!
Worried for the state of the sofa and for the potential for Noodle to do himself an injury we began looking for ways to avoid this “zoomie” moment. We began to give Noodle a Kong round the same time in the evening to try and keep him calm and occupied. Unfortunately, this failed because he was either so excited to see the Kong that it would set him off, or he would set to with the Kong and save his zoomie for afterwards. Without fail, he would have the zoomie anyway!
We tried closing the door to ensure that the zoomie was contained. Unfortunately, this resulted in an extremely high energy zoomie taking place within the confines of the two-seater sofa. This involved leaping from one side to the other, freezing with wild eyes, spinning around several times and jumping back and forth like a crazed thing! We tried protecting the sofa with blankets, but they flew off. Meanwhile toys would be hurled in all different directions!
We tried putting on his leash to try and calm him down but the challenge of trying to attach a leash to the collar of a mid-zoomie galgo is near on impossible. If anything, encourages him to dash from side to side even more – as if he’s enjoying watching us trying to clip the thing on!
Let the “zoomie” be.
So, our current attitude is now to let the zoomie happen. We think it´s Noodle´s stress release moment. His zoomie often happens when he gets back from a walk. I can guarantee that within minutes of taking his collar off he will do a full body shake from his head to the tip of his tail and launch himself onto the sofa ready to play. I believe that the tension of the walk builds up inside of him: every off-leash dog he sees that stresses him out, every dog that has barked at him from behind a gate and made him jump, every person who’s jogged up behind him or whizzed past on a motorbike. It is all released in his “zoomie”. We also believe he’s doing it because he’s happy to be home. Because he feels carefree and excited to be there. And that’s wonderful to see.
And slowly now were trying to move the zoomie outside. So, the minute he flies like a torpedo off the sofa and heads to the front terrace we grab the keys and whizz out with him, shutting the front door behind us. Undeterred, he now whizzes like a whirlwind in circles around the terrace, each time terrifying us that he’s going to fly into the wall or one of us. But he never does. He skids round the corners like a car on two wheels, his nails scratching away on the tiled floor. We love watching it, and from the look on his face, he LOVEs doing it. So long may the “zoomie” continue!
(A big thank you to Richard Skipworth, who kindly gave permission to use his fantastic artwork for this blog post. You can visit his Redbubble store here.)
Does your dog love a “zoomie”? Have you ever tries to curb it? Where does it normally happen? Is your dog regular as clockwork like Noodle? I’d love to hear your Zoomie stories! Please leave a comment in the box below…